At two o’clock one morning I was awakened by the strangest sound coming through my bedroom window. To my befogged mind it was the laughter and shouts of children, swirling and echoing in the pavilion a hundred yards away; much like the noise the scouts made a couple of weeks before. But as my mind sharpened I had to ask myself, what were kids doing in the pavilion at this hour and on a Monday?
I tried to listen more closely but it was only a ghostly babble, hard to focus on, for it had no vowels or consonants. It was a strange, surreal and chilling sound, like from the movie “Blair Witch Project” and it raised the hair on the back of my neck. I wondered, was it owls? They make bizarre, guttural, gurgling noises at night and trade hoots back and fourth with the other owls. Was it ghosts at the old Indian trading post down on the bayou? That seemed a bit far-fetched. I eventually got back to sleep.
The next day my boss assured me it was Coyotes (Canis latrans). Apparently, sometimes they get their pack together at night and raise a fuss. Maybe they argue over hierarchies or setting priorities or strategizing on the neighborhood’s pet food bowls or where one can find a tasty rabbit. I have seen just one of these scruffy beasts by the light of day in the past two years.
Another night I heard a rustling in the dark outside my window. There was a snarl, a scuffle, then a helpless squeal from some poor creature, snagged by what was probably a roving coyote. Lately they’ve been on a campaign to covert our rabbit population into the furry scat they deposit on our roads and bike paths. I haven’t made up my mind if I should let these rangy, nocturnal creatures remind me more of the “Loup Garou” or the hapless cartoon character Wile E. Coyote of Warner Brothers fame.